I love Christmas, the magic of it has truly returned for me since having children, and although I wouldn’t normally allow it to creep in until November, I was thrilled to get the chance to go to London last week and see what Iceland are going to have on offer for us this Christmas. I absolutely love discovering new products and I’m always excited to see the new innovations that are around in food and drink every Christmas.
Now I have to admit that I have never (so far!) headed to Iceland to buy any of my Christmas food- it just wouldn’t have occurred to me. Until recently I lived under an assumption that the type of frozen offerings available wouldn’t satisfy the foodie in me- they might look good but the taste wouldn’t just stand up. I had my opinion very much overturned a couple of months ago when I had the chance to try out some of Iceland’s Autumn offerings in store, so was very interested to see what would be on offer for Christmas!
It was a surreal experience walking into One Belgravia, lined with snow-capped trees on one of the hottest days of the year so far!
We were given the chance to browse around the products ourselves, before trying some of them. I was instantly drawn to the central Christmas table, where one of Iceland’s buyers kindly explained to me the idea behind some of the dishes there.
Central was the gilded turkey- inspired by a traditional Victorian method of preparing the turkey which uses a glaze to both keep it moist, and make it look beautiful on the table!
One of the other things on the table that really caught my eye was the Luxury Peppered Picanha Rump- I absolutely adore beef, and this looks like a dream dish for me- it is a 21 day aged rump (British beef)- this particular cut of meat is cut to stay tender while cooking, and is pepper-seasoned- so delicious looking I could have snaffled it all up right there!
For anyone who is likely to be looking for a completely hassle-free alternative to cooking a turkey, I was impressed by the Hand Stuffed Chicken Cushion- this goes straight from the freezer into the oven, and is a fully deboned, hand prepared whole chicken filled with onion stuffing and wrapped in smoked bacon. It is decorated with orange, cinnamon and bay so looks very festive too! This would be perfect for anyone who finds the whole turkey experience a bit stressful, and would be great if you are cooking for lots of people and want to cut down on the carving time!
Those were my top picks when it came to meat options, but there were lots of other items that I loved the look of, including a vegetarian option of Roast Parsnip and Portobello Mushroom Pithiver, a Turkey and Gammon Wellington, and a Luxury Pork Joint:
I have definitely discovered the #PowerofFrozen recently when it comes to seafood, and so will definitely be buying Iceland’s frozen lobsters– I absolutely love lobster but it’s not something that I have braved cooking from fresh so this is ideal! I was also really impressed by the salt-baked seabass (which looks very impressive!)- you could definitely impress at a dinner party by cracking open the salt crust to reveal a tenderly cooked fish with lemon, garlic, bay and parsley.
There are also some fantastic chilled products available, and even more coming for Christmas- I was glad to see smoked salmon, always a Christmas favourite in my family (our traditional breakfast is smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and champagne!), and for something a little different, there is a beetroot infused smoked salmon which I tried, and was delicious!
The other surprising (and exciting) offering is the cheese selection! I would never have through to turn to Iceland for my Christmas cheese but they offer lots of varieties, including delicious Comte, Wookey cheddar and the one that wowed me the most, a cheddar and chilli truckle! I’ll definitely be popping in to look for that one!
I was very happy to have the chance to try some of the items, cooked by Iceland’s chef, Neil Nugent- here’s a little peek at what we had, and it was all totally delicious- it’s amazing the quality of meal that you can achieve using frozen products.
Here’s what we had!
1. Delicious crispy nacho chicken, with beetroot infused smoked salmon
2. Duck and fig pate with chutney
3. Mini cheese souffle
4. Gilded turkey served with carrot baubles and Romanesco broccoli Christmas trees (loved these veg- so cute!)
5. A-maz-ing Reveal Snowflake cake: brownie base, topped with Belgian chocolate mousse and then a crisp Belgian chocolate rose-gold coated shell- it comes with a hot chocolate sauce to pour over the top!
I’ve left the sweet treats until last, as I do tend to focus on the healthier items that are available, but I have to mention a few of these, as I will definitely be picking up some of the items come Christmas-time! Lots of them are actually little mini things so perfect for a treat without over-indulging!
I was really taken with the mini fruity eclairs– they are a perfect tiny treat and actually ideal for a little bit of indulgence over Christmas! They come in raspberry, blackcurrant, lemon and apricot flavours. I’m also a huge fan of macaroons, and the frozen ones were absolutely lovely- they look so pretty on the table!
I also loved the look of the Luxury Melt in the Middle Christmas Trees
I’ve already mentioned it, but the absolute star of the show for me was the Reveal Snowflake cake, it really was stunning!
That’s just a snapshot of some of the products that really appealed to me, but there are more than 200 products that will be available- everything I tried was fantastic quality and lots of frozen items means it’s very easy to be prepared in advance with your Christmas food by hvaing it in the freezer rather than having to stuff it all into the fridge at the last minute!
I’m definitely going to be heading to Iceland this Christmas!
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Iceland. All opinions are my own, and honest and truthful.